Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Proud No Longer

Under its new boss, Chris Tang, the Hong Kong Police Force has decided to take my advice and adopt a new motto, reports the HKFP. Instead of being proud and careful, the Force has regretfully ignored my suggestion and will now be “Serving Hong Kong with Honour, Duty and Loyalty”.  Which sounds fine until you ask "loyalty to whom?"  Based on the events of recent weeks, the answer is more likely to be the Chinese Communist Party than the Hong Kong people.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A Man of His Word?

I'd reather be dead in a ditch than still in the EU after October 31st, declared Boris Johnson.  Well, those millions of us Brits who value our rights as European citizens can be glad that we will not lose them for at least a while longer, but sadly Boris's claim seems to be, as Jeremy Corbyn has pointed out, another broken promise.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Teargas Sutra

Among the mass of remarkable street art inspired by the current protests, this striking one in Nam Cheong caught my eye.  I love the way it blends a Banksy-style image of a weary protester resting with inspiration from a much older Asian tradition.

Cycle of Violence

How much intelligence does it take to recognise that if you curtail all peaceful channels for expression of opinion and for achieving much-needed change, only violent channels remain? Apparently more than the pathetic Hong Kong government can summon up.

Monday, September 30, 2019

The Sleep of the Volunteers

While Hongkongers are eagerly adopting a new anthem of resistance, already on YouTube in multiple versions on numerous instruments and translated into several foreign languages - read its history here - the government is presumably pressing ahead with its (already failed) plan to enforce "respect" for China's official national anthem - March of the Volunteers - through legislation.  This would make it illegal, among other things, to change the words of the anthem.  I am not sure what the implications of this are for translations into other languages - there are already many, including an English version performed by the legendary American singer Paul Robeson even before the founding of the PRC (which ironically later hounded the anthem's lyricist to his death).

Robeson's version (see the link) has different words to the current official ones, which come out in English as:
Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves!
With our flesh and blood,let us build a new Great Wall!
As China faces its greatest peril
From each one the urgent call to action comes forth.
Arise! Arise! Arise!
Millions of but one heart
Braving the enemies' fire! March on!
Braving the enemies' fire! March on!
March on! March, march on!.
Another (slightly less clumsy) version:
Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves
With our very flesh and blood Let us build our new Great Wall
The Peoples of China are in the most critical time,
Everybody must roar his defiance.
Arise! Arise! Arise!
Millions of hearts with one mind,
Brave the enemy's gunfire, march on!
Brave the enemy's gunfire, march on!
March on! March on! March on, on!
Out of curiosity I fed the Chinese words of the anthem (from here):
(( 义勇军进行曲))
起来!不愿做奴隶的人们!
把我们的血肉,筑成我们新的长城!
中华民族到了最危险的时候,
每个人被迫着发出最后的吼声。
起来!起来!起来!
我们万众一心,
冒着敌人的炮火,前进!
冒着敌人的炮火,前进!
前进!前进!进!
into Google Translate, and got this [my emphasis]:
Stand up! People who don't want to be slaves!
Make our flesh and blood into our new Great Wall!
When the Chinese nation is at its most dangerous time,
Everyone is forced to make the final snoring.
We are all united,
Take the enemy's gunfire and move on!
Take the enemy's gunfire and move on!
go ahead! go ahead! Into!
stand up! stand up! stand up!
So as Hong Kong's protesters no doubt mark China's National Day tomorrow with mass singing of "Glory to Hong Kong", let us all look forward to the final snoring of the PRC!

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Hong Kong Police adopt new motto


Suspicious Minds

The government has officially denied the rumour that a protester was killed by the police action in Prince Edward Station a few days ago.  Meanwhile the police stated that reporters were removed from crime scenes to protect the privacy of suspects.  Seeing what the police already get away with in front of the camera, if I was one of the protesters, I would rather endanger my privacy than risk what they might do to me when no one is filming them.

At least one of these pictures is adapted from the indispensable  Hong Kong Free Press.

BS Johnson, PM